5 tools that helped me shift careers

๐Ÿ’Œ Newsletter

Career twists are the new normal.

In the past 10 years I've made a few career shifts:

Academia --> consulting (employed) --> consulting (independent) --> political campaigning --> corporate trainings --> executive coaching / personal development

The 5 tools & frameworks I used to make those shifts work for me:

Create my "value-opportunity matrix"

  • Axis 1: my personal values, interests, strengths
  • Axis 2: opportunities, even jobs that seem outlandish/unrealistic
  • Score each opportunity by values/interests/strengths
  • Add the scores up and be surprised, but don't take the result too seriously

Consider different career models.

There are alternative career models out there - explore them! What completely shifted my thinking: portfolio vs. serial careers. Portfolio careers juggle multiple roles at the same time; serial careers move from one area to another. Also consider: are you a generalist or expert? Assess where you thrive and the flexibility each model brings against future uncertainties.


Adopt an experimentation mindset. Trial runs in new roles or fields unveil invaluable insights and sometimes unexpected opportunities. Volunteer, freelance, or upskill to test the waters in different arenas. Each trial is a step closer to a fulfilling career path.

Write things down on paper.

A journal captures reflections, learnings, and growth over time. It clarifies thoughts and intentions, making the abstract tangible. My journal is a mix of text, chart, sketches, lines and a lot of underscores.

Take a step back from it all.

A brief sabbatical or vacation clears the mind, offering a fresh perspective. Reflect, reassess goals, and rejuvenate passion to ensure you're aligned with where you want to be long-term. Take a step back, even if it's just an afternoon in an unusual space. And if you can, take your time: my biggest insights & shifts happened a few years ago when I was away from work for 4 weeks. Total reset and clarity on what I wanted and needed to do.

Being able to shift careers is a core skill. More broadly: mastering big life transitions is crucial.

Why? Longer lifespans, more disruption, and uncertainty ahead.

I admit, my 'tools' lean on the analytical side.

What strategies have powered your big decisions?

Share them under my LinkedIn post or let me know by replying to this mail.

p.s. ๐Ÿ‘‡ below, find the latest podcast, what I'm currently reading/listening to and my favourite quote this week

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ My latest podcast

Ye-One Rhie - Mentors, trust and trying something new in politics
About my guest Ye-One Rhie MdB is member of the German Bundestag for the Social Democrats (SPD) since 2021. Before that, Ye-One was representative at local level in the municipal council of Aachen, while working in the field of science communication. Ye-One shares a personal story & motivation forโ€ฆ

๐Ÿ“š What I read & listen to

After reading Mo Gawdat's 'Scary Smart' - the ex-Google X Chief Business Officer's take on the future of AI & and how we can save humanity - I am now reading his book 'Solve for Happy'. It's a comprehensive, practical and fresh take on happiness - from an engineer, business executive and father who lost his son:

Solve for Happy | Mo Gawdat

๐Ÿ–‹๏ธ My favourite quote

"Donโ€™t be so humbleโ€”youโ€™re not that great." - Golda Meir